With Valentine’s Day falling on a Wednesday in 2024, there are plenty of options to celebrate on the actual day, but also the weekend before or after.  Whether you’re an outdoorsy type ready for a weekend of exploring or you’re looking to dress up and find a fresh date night spot to call your own, we have some ideas on how you can spend this special season.  

For the Outdoorsy Couple

If you enjoy spending quality time in the great outdoors, then Cupid’s arrow is pointing you toward South Carolina’s only national park. As the largest intact tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the U.S., Congaree National Park is the perfect place for hiking and spotting wildlife. If the weather’s nice, pack a romantic picnic to share. If you’re looking to get on the water, Palmetto Outdoors offers year-round canoe tours on Congaree Creek within the national park. Canoes keep you warmer and dryer than a kayak excursion this time of year so you can layer up and enjoy the view. After your excursions, plan on dinner at The Hoot on Rosewood for plant-based dining including veggie burgers, sandwiches and nachos.

For the Artsy Couple 

If you’re an art lover, spend the afternoon perusing the Columbia Museum of Art or be your own tour guide and explore the city with our public art tour. When you’re done, head on over to Goat's or Mr. Friendly’s  for dinner and drinks, where local art adorns the walls.  

For Craft Beer Enthusiasts 

Columbia’s list of breweries and their offerings continue to evolve, providing you with a fresh slate of options each season. This Valentine’s Day try some new winter flavors at Columbia Craft Brewery, including Intents, a double dry-hopped West Coast-style DIPA or the Patisserie dessert-inspired sour ale. Or cozy up at Iron Hill Brewing in the BullStreet district for some comforting dishes like the blackened chicken linguini or French onion soup paired with their own craft beer selections.  

For the Couple About Town 

Get dressed up and plan a night at Chayz Lounge for dinner, drinks and live jazz. Or try one of Columbia’s under-the-radar date night spots like Madrigal Café for Italian dishes and extensive wine list in a cozy setting or City Grit Wine Bar for elevated bites and wines with a French and Spanish influence. Boku in the Vista has cozy booths and a top-notch bar for an Asian-inspired dinner for two. Spotted Salamander is offering a Valentines dinner on February 16, for those looking to celebrate over the weekend.  

For the Low-Fuss Fun Couple 

You can’t go wrong with queso and margaritas, and Cocos and Beer delivers both (and more) in a casual atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating (weather permitting). Or tap into your nostalgic side with delicious bar bites like smoked wings and gravy fries along with some old-school video games at Transmission Arcade on Main Street. The Nickelodeon Theatre is a great spot for cozying up to watch a feature film with your sweetheart (and some popcorn) in the heart of the Main Street District. A coffee date (at any time of day) can be a fun way to unwind and reconnect without breaking the bank at local spots like Piecewise, Azalea Coffee Bar and Indah